After playing Kirby and the Forgotten Land, many gamers are probably wondering what the best games like Kirby on Switch are so that they can get their next fix. If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place, because we’ve got a whole mouthful of gaming recommendations for you, each one of them capturing a certain aspect of what you get from the Kirby series has to offer.
The best games like Kirby on Switch are actually all quite different from each other, because they each contain different elements in common with the Kirby series. If you like Kirby because of the cutesy aesthetic, we’ve got recommendations to scratch that itch, and if you like solid 3D platformers, we’ve got recommendations along those lines too.
Whatever your taste is in games, we’re fairly certain that at least one of the games on this list should appeal to Kirby fans. Maybe you’ve even played some of them before, but if we can encourage you to try at least one new game that you fall in love with, we’ll be satisfied that we’ve done a good job.
The best games like Kirby are:
- Super Mario Odyssey
- A Hat in Time
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Super Mario Odyssey
Though Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the big Switch platformer on everybody’s lips right now, back in 2017, it was Super Mario Odyssey. If you loved Forgotten Lands but haven’t played Odyssey yet, we strongly recommend that you give it a go soon – especially as Mario’s capture abilities are fairly similar to Kirby’s copy abilities.
Harkening back to the gameplay style of Super Mario 64, but then amping it up to 11 and giving bigger worlds with more secrets, this was a dream game for many fans of the genre. Mario controls perfectly, every level is beautiful, and it’s just really fun to mess around and simply exist in this game.
A Hat in Time
If someone mentions a 2017 3D platformer with a hat motif where you have to locate collectibles which then power up your flying ship and take you to new levels, the chances are, you’re going to think of Super Mario Odyssey. But that year also saw the release of A Hat in Time – an indie counterpart to Odyssey which has a number of coincidental similarities.
A Hat in Time easily stands equal to Odyssey, and some are sure to argue that it may even be the superior of the two games. As Hat Kid, you explore a number of expansive locations as you hunt for Time Pieces, but if you scratch under the surface of the bright and vibrant colours, you’ll find that there’s a kind of melancholy you’d never find in a Nintendo game, giving A Hat in Time a very unique flavour.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
While Forgotten Lands brought Kirby into the third dimension, the majority of his outings have been 2D platformers and if you’re looking for a fantastic 2D platformer to sink hours into, look no further than Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – one of the greatest 2D platformers of all time.
Have you ever wanted the Kirby series to be a little more challenging? Some fans look at the Kirby, Mario, and Donkey Kong series as a spectrum, with Kirby as the ‘easy’ platformers, Mario as the middle ground, and Donkey Kong as the more difficult. While occasionally challenging, it more than makes up for it with its awe-inspiring soundtrack and beautiful level design – plus, if it gets too hard, you can always try the New Funky Mode, where you play as the uber-powerful Funky Kong.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
We included Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in our list of the best Kirby games and we’re including it here for the very same reason. Kirby and the Smash Bros. series were both created by Masahiro Sakurai and it’s clear to see that there are certain stylistic and gameplay decisions that run through both series – even if one is a platformer and the other is a fighting game.
If you’re a Kirby fan who’s never played Smash Bros. before, you’ll be pleased to hear that Kirby, King Dedede, and Meta-Knight are all playable (and we’re sure a handful of your favourites from other series are too – just look at our Smash Bros. fighter tier list) and Kirby even plays a significant role in the game’s single player mode. But whether you play alone, with friends, or with strangers on the internet, this is a game you’ll easily spend hours and hours on.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Do you like the cute, easy-going aspect of Kirby games? If so, Animal Crossing: New Horizons might be about to become your new favourite. The whole game is built around being cute and relaxing and you spend your time chatting with talking animals, fishing, gathering fruit, arranging furniture or whatever else you feel like.
As it is a completely open gaming experience, you’ll find that some fans have created some really amazing Kirby items of clothing which anybody is free to download and use. Or maybe you could try your hand at making something yourself? Either way, you’ve got a whole island and it’s yours to do with as you please. Check out our guide on all the Animal Crossing: New Horizon villagers for an idea of the cute characters you might encounter in this game.
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
Another Switch indie game option here. You know how Kirby and the Forgotten Land has you rescuing the Waddle Dees to repopulate Waddle Dee Town? Well, in this game you play as Yooka and Laylee as they rescue members of the ‘Beetalion’ who will help make it a lot easier for you to get through the titular Impossible Lair (which is available for you to play right from the start).
In some ways, the game resembles Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, but the addition of an explorable isometric overworld adds a really interesting level of variety to the kinds of puzzles and challenges you’ll face, to the extent that it at least rivals Tropical Freeze, if not surpassing it. If you love 2D platforming, you won’t want to miss this.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
What the heck does Zelda have to do with Kirby? Well, aside from the cutesy aesthetic of Link’s Awakening that fits well with Kirby designs, this game actually features a cameo appearance of Kirby. Or, at least, an evil member of his species called the Anti-Kirby (and in terms of story, without spoiling anything, it makes sense for a Dreamland citizen to show up in this game).
This was originally released on the original Game Boy back in 1993, so it has that retro Nintendo kind of feeling, but it’s coupled with the enhanced gameplay and visuals that you might expect from Nintendo’s current generation. As a sign of our appreciation for this game, we included it in our best Zelda games article.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Who’s Nintendo’s cutest platforming star? If you don’t answer that question with ‘Kirby’, the chances are you’ll probably answer with ‘Yoshi’ and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, was his first opportunity to properly step into the spotlight as the star of his own game (ignoring a few earlier puzzle titles).
What makes this game really stand out is the use of an art style that makes it resemble childish pencil and crayon sketches. Of course, that’s paired with the fact that this game offers a solid platforming experience which laid the foundation for later Yoshi games and stands proud alongside the best instalments in the Mario series. Although, you will have to get used to the sound of Baby Mario’s endless crying…
This game is available as one of the SNES games available via Nintendo Switch Online.
So, Kirby fans, we hope that one of these recommendations has caught your attention. Even ignoring all the similarities and connections to the Kirby series, these are all stand-out games in their own right and well deserving of a spot in any Nintendo collection.
For more Kirby related content, check out our guide on Kirby and the Forgotten Land amiibo functionality.